Albie Masland, of Carlisle Pennsylvania, finished his amazing journey across the country from California to Delaware on Monday, August 27 at Broadkill Beach as he plunged into the Delaware Bay. Not by car or bike, Albie traveled over 3,000 miles by foot as he literally ran across the United States in the name of something bigger than himself.
Beginning his run on Mach 17 in Dana Point California, Albie ran up the Pacific Coast Highway, across Route 66 to St. Louis and through a myriad of interstate highways and small towns to reach his final destination in Broadkill Beach, Delaware. Along the way, he ran through Los Angeles, California; Flagstaff, Arizona; Santa Fe, New Mexico; Amarillo, Texas; Tulsa, Oklahoma; Indianapolis, Indiana; Columbus, Ohio, Pittsburg, Pennsylvania and Washington D.C.
“It’s refreshing and at this point I can breathe,” commented Albie after he stepped out of the Delaware Bay on Monday. After hitting Washington D.C., where he and his supprot team expected to be finished, Albie was told that in order to truly run from coast to coast he would need to run an additional 120 miles to reach the Eastern Coast. The last three days Albie ran over 100 miles to reach his personal goal and keep his committment to a higher purpose.
The run across the country was supported by Bullets2Bandages, raising awarness and money for the Travis Manion Foundation. Albie’s run helped raise over $40,000 for the foundation that supports survivors of fallen American heroes, active duty troops, veterans, and military family members by inspiring individuals to challenge themselves in honor of the fallen.
After experiencing a period of time in his life that he describes as depressing and disappointing, Albie was looking for purpose in his life and drove from his home in Carlisle, PA to San Diego, CA in an attempt to escape his problems. Experiencing the death of a mentor, his granfather Haboo, and having difficulty finding meaningful work, he decided to turn to running to releive his stress and anxiety. It was the inspiration of his father, that had always taught him the importance of balancing mind, body and spirit, that turned Albie on to running as a theraputic outlet.
On his website Albie explains that “Each day as I ran I would wonder how I could possibly find purpose and direction in my life when everything was seemingly hopeless. Without fail, my thoughts would be lifted as I considered the challenge of making a run across the country. This feat seemed to be the perfect medicine my life desperately needed, but I knew I needed to run for a cause greater than myself. Only that would provide a meaningful purpose and a far greater reward.”
Connecting with friends that were associated with the orginization Bullets2Bandages, Albie decided that his purpose for this run would not only be a personal challenge but also a thank you to the men and women serving in the United States military.
“I knew I wanted a big challenge and I wanted to make a big statement,” commented Albie when asked about why he chose to support the Travis Manion Foundation. “As far as thanking the troops, I wanted to take on a challenge that was deserving of their committment to our country.”
To support him along his journey running across the country, Alibie’s sister Hilary Masland and friend Alex Hyman drove alongside the runner making sure he was equipped with Gatorade, Cliff bars and encouragment. Even running with him during several routes, the girls constantly reminded Albie of how proud thay were of his impressive commitment. Albie’s sister and father were at Broadkill Beach on Monday afternoon to see the journey come to an end as he walked into the Delaware Bay.
“We’ve really been working through the challenge the entire trip in honor of our veterans,” commented Hilary Masland. “We wanted to do something big that inspired us and we hope that others find inspiration in it.”
For Albie this is just the beginning of his lifelong journey and personal quest to find meaning in his life. As he prepares to take on his next challenge, he will keep the sacrifices of the American soldier close to his heart.
“You never know what you’re going to see over the next hill,” commented Albie refering to his cross country run. “because you’ve never been there before.”